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Warwick Valley teachers, staff get life-saving trauma training

on January 24, 2019
A man secures a tourniquet to the arm of a woman

Superintendent Dr. David Leach, second from left, applies a tourniquet to Meghan McGourty, the district’s Director of Student Support Services.

Teachers, staff members and administrators in the Warwick Valley Central School District are receiving life-saving trauma response training, making Warwick Valley the first school district in Orange County to partner with Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine to offer such training.

Doctors, paramedics and certified instructors from the Touro College Middletown campus are presenting the training program, Stop the Bleed, Save a Life, to staff in the coming weeks. During the two-hour course participants are taught how to control bleeding in an injured patient using compression, bandages and tourniquets. Bus drivers, teachers, principals, secretaries and coaches are among those learning how to stop uncontrolled bleeding after an injury, enabling them to provide crucial first aid.

“People are always better off when they feel empowered,” said Dr. Joyce

A woman treats a simulated wound on a foam tube

Sanfordville Elementary School Nurse Creslyn Driscoll treats a simulated wound during Stop the Bleed, Save a Life training.

Brown, who is leading the training. “The most awful feeling in the world is feeling helpless.” But virtually anyone can learn the basic life-saving actions, she said.

Uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of preventable death from trauma. Car crashes, work injuries, even playground accidents can result in severe bleeding, and the more people who know how to help, the more lives can be saved.

Dr. David Leach, Warwick Valley Schools Superintendent, said the training makes Warwick Valley that much safer for everyone, including students, staff, and visitors. “Like any emergency training, you hope you never have to use it. But no matter where our people are – at home, shopping, on the road or here at school – if the unthinkable happens we will be better prepared,” said Dr. Leach, who also received the training.

Four adults, three in black scrubs and one in a white doctor's coat, in a group portrait

The Touro College “Stop the Bleed” team:” (l-r) Dr. Joyce Brown, Dr. Alex M. Joanow, Dr. Martin Torrents, and paramedic Kelly Kohler.

Medical experts hope that, like CPR training and certification, Stop the Bleed training will become widespread.

“The person next to you is the person who is going to save you,” said Kelly Kohler, a paramedic an Touro’s Clinical Instructor of Emergency Medical Services and Simulation Specialist, “Everyone should know how to stop life-threatening bleeding.”

Class participants learn how to use the supplies found in trauma first aid kits –  gauze, gloves, and a tourniquet – to treat injuries. If a trauma kit isn’t available they learn how to use clothing as makeshift bandages and compression material. During the class they treat simulated wounds, learn how to protect themselves from blood-borne disease, and apply tourniquets to themselves and one another.

A woman applies a tourniquet to a foam tube

Park Avenue Elementary School Nurse Janet VanDuzer secures a tourniquet during Stop the Bleed, Save a Life training.

The Stop the Bleed program was developed in response to the December 2012 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct. In all, 20 children and six teachers and staff members died. An adult male can bleed to death in as few as five minutes; children have even less time to receive help. Meanwhile, the national average response time for emergency medical services (EMS) is 11 minutes.

“As a long-time resident of Warwick I applaud the efforts of our talented, dedicated Touro faculty and Dr. Leach, our superintendent, for this collaboration effort to make Warwick a forward thinking safer community,” said Dr. Alex M. Joanow, director of clinical rotations and clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Touro. “Hopefully, this will be considered an inaugural effort to explore more joint ventures in the future.”

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